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Best New Android Smartphones 2014

Updated on February 20, 2014

Review the Latest Android Smartphones

There are a lot of Android phones out there and features vary between phone to phone and various operating systems. A smart phone is a big investment and nothing is worse than buying a phone that you thought did something you wanted, only to find out it doesn't support that functionality for you. Android Phones come with pre-loaded software and some apps that you can also update or change if you don't want to use them. In this post I'll review the best rated new Android smartphones and give you a quick and easy look at their differences as well as Android's various operating systems.

Choosing an Android Smartphone

Android Platforms - Gingerbread Honeycomb Ice Cream Sandwich
Android Platforms - Gingerbread Honeycomb Ice Cream Sandwich

Android is the most popular operating system for Smartphones with over 200 million users. When choosing an Android smartphone one of the most important things to consider is what operating system it has. Froyo or Android 2.2 is a great platform but one you should definitely try to avoid when purchasing a used Android phone as the newer Gingerbread OS (Android 2.3) is better at preserving your phones battery life. Gingerbread also improved upon gaming performance, the user interface, and the soft keyboard.

Honeycomb 3.0-3.2 is for tablets and gives better support for larger screens and for the multi-core processors and hardware acceleration that these carry.

Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 brings a lot of Honeycomb's best features to smart phones including photography enhancements, offline e-mail searching, app folders, and even facial recognition. Phones in the lineup for getting Ice Cream Sandwich include; HTC Vivid, unlocked Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Rezound, Motorola Droid RAZR, HTC Amaze 4G, HTC Sensation 4G (T-mobile), Samsung Nexus S 4G, HTC EVO Design 4G, and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. So if you want to make sure you have this upgrade as soon as possible make sure you look for one of these phones for a smooth transition. For more information on Android operating systems check out this page on Android 4.0 operating highlights.

Samsung Galaxy S II Phone

Samsung Galaxy SII Android Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy SII Android Smartphone

This phone runs on the Android Gingerbread 2.3 and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual core processer. It comes with an 8MP camera with full HD 1080 video capturing capabilities and a 2MP front camera for video chats. It is said you can talk non-stop for up to three hours. Not many people do this every day, but there might be busy professionals who spend a lot of time on their phone who need a longer battery life because of long talk time. Some users have found this to be a drawback but one should also consider that any smartphone has a shorter battery life than we would otherwise like. This sleek little phone is made very slim and it is super light at only 4.3 ounces. If you are ready to make the move from 3G to 4G, you won't be disappointed; this phone is super-fast! The Samsung Galaxy SII has been a popular model for many reasons. The screen has a better display because there are 50% more sub-pixels so you get better contrast, and that makes it even easier to use in bright sunlight. The screen is large so it makes the phone big as well, but many people find they like to have a larger viewing area; but be advised that the phone is bigger than what you might be used to.

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000

For those who are on the go and need smartphone portability, this phone is a great choice. For the ultimate multi-tasker, this phone will do all that you want from a smartphone and more. Think about never needing to switch to another device again; you will not need to because this phone should do it all for you. Except maybe cook dinner. This phone also runs on the Gingerbread 2.3 system and includes a full touch screen with an S pen. The phone is heavier than the last we reviewed at 2 pounds, so keep that in mind if you prefer a lighter phone. Some complaints about this device include too low of in-call volume and connectivity issues when the 3G icon is shown. This makes a good phone however, because it can act like a tablet, if not better.

Many people find that it is large enough to comfortably read but is small enough to work well as a phone. It comes with a rear 8MP camera and a front 2MP for your video chats. The battery life on this phone has actually been reported to be pretty good except while browsing the web. Keep in mind that, as with any smartphone, if you use a lot of apps, it can drain your battery pretty quickly.

HTC A9192 Inspire Smart Phone
HTC A9192 Inspire Smart Phone

HTC A9192 Inspire

This is another 4G phone that runs on Android 2.2 Gingerbread system. This phone comes with an 8MP camera but no forward facing one for video chatting. You get up to 6 hours of talk time, WiFi connectivity and GPS navigation. The screen is over 4 inches so you have a rather large viewing surface. One amazing feature is HTCSense; this allows you to go online and see where you left your phone. That in and of itself is worth every cent - how many times have you gone in desperate search for your phone? With this feature, you can also send and receive texts and forward calls to another number so you don't miss a thing. This makes it very handy when you have gone to work and left your phone at home. Also, if you have sensitive data on your phone and it is truly lost, you can go online and wipe it all out. Many users have found this phone to be preferable to iPhones because they get all the functionality they want for half the price. Keep in mind that with this phone, as well, the size is a bit bigger.

Sprint HTC Evo
Sprint HTC Evo

Sprint HTC EVO

With this phone, you get a large screen at 4.3 inches that delivers some really good pictures. It has an 8MP front facing camera that can handle video calls and two way voice service from Qik. It runs on the Gingerbread 2.1 operating system and offers all Google mobile services that you could ever dream of.

As with any smartphone, you have access to any app you might dream up and between those and the software of the phone, you will be able to access everything you need from day to day. HTC makes it easy for you to create an individualized mobile toolbox that can be tailored to you needs. With the purchase of this phone, you also get downloads from the Amazon MP3 Store, memory expansion, Adobe Flash support and HDMI audio/video outputs.

The battery life is around 6 hours and as we've talked about already, can vary depending on use. Some users have complained that syncing with Google can sometimes be difficult. Being able to copy and paste your data from your computer to your phone is also a valuable feature. There are many phones that have this feature but this phone seems to make it even easier to do so.

Samsung Infuse
Samsung Infuse

Samsung Infuse

Next in line is the Infuse by Samsung. This phone features 50% more sub-pixels for better contrast and easier reading in bright sunlight. It runs on the 2.2 platform and is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor. The front facing camera is only 1.3MP and rear facing is 8MP. The display is made with Gorilla Glass so it is sure to withstand even the most rigorous of use.

The screen is absolutely beautiful with the touch sensitivity as very easy to use. You can run a lot of apps with the power that is behind this phone, but be advised that lots of widget use will drain the battery significantly. Even though this phone comes with an older version of Android, it can still do whatever you need it to. Some users have reported GPS instability and that it takes a really long time to get a satellite lock. The audio output is amazing and the camera works very well for casual use. This is a good phone for the average person. However, hardcore gamers or busy multi-taskers might want a new phone.

Motorola Atrix
Motorola Atrix

Motorola Atrix

Here you get a 1GHz dual core processor with Android 2.2. As specific to Motorola, you get the webtop application which gives you a very PC like experience and runs Firefox 3.6 as your browser. This phone is super-fast and with the 1 GB of RAM, you will have a phone that truly acts like a computer. You have up to 9 hours of talk time, HDMI audio/video outputs, memory expansion and all the other bells and whistles like WiFi and Bluetooth. However, the Bluetooth feature has been found to deliver a lot of interference. The best feature on the phone would be the screen. It has great resolution and gives you sharp and clear pictures. Another feature that doesn't seem to work very well is the fingerprint scanner - it ends up being kind of fickle by working sometimes and not others. Many people have also reported that the phone runs very warm. For the price, this makes a great phone for an average user. All in all, this seems to be a good choice for many. The virtual keyboard has been found to work very well and be very intuitive.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play R800i
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play R800i

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play R800i

This 3G phone runs on Android 2.3 - still Gingerbread - and has a 1GHz Snapdragon II processor. This phone makes a great companion to a gamer. The graphics processor will give you a faster experience and intense gaming. It includes a 4 inch touch screen with a game pad that slides out. The game pad includes a directional keypad, dual analog touch joystick, two shoulder buttons and four PlayStation symbol keys- circle, X, square and triangle. This is the first phone to be PlayStation Certified. Some people might find that game pad to be a little small and it might periodically shut down the game to go back to the home screen, as a glich. The speakers have been found to deliver great sound that is loud and easy to hear. It makes a great device for Assassins Creed, Need for Speed, and Dungeon Defenders to name a few. You also get a 5MP rear camera and it comes equipped with Google maps and navigation. You can have up to 7 hours of talk time with this device as well. The phone is light at only 6.3 ounces and is very slim. Be advised that this phone does not have any HDMI outputs, which might be a deal breaker for you. And, as with many smartphones, the screen can be hard to see in sunlight.

Samsung S5570 Galaxy Mini
Samsung S5570 Galaxy Mini

Samsung S5570 Galaxy Mini

The most affordable Android phone we will discuss is this version from Samsung. Even though it says "Mini", the phone is still big enough to comfortably use. It runs on the open source Android operating system and upgrades to Gingerbread quite easily. This phone is not the most high tech version, but makes for a great phone for a simple cell phone user, or a teenager maybe. The 3.2 touch screen is smaller than those we have talked about already but it has user friendly controls and features the auto rotate function. The design is very compact and does not weight too much to be a problem. The fixed focus camera is only 3MP. The GPS system has been found to work very well. Be advised that this phone does not offer you Wi-Fi calling and the screen resolution is not the greatest. Downloading Google Apps will make your app searching and purchasing a lot easier. This phone would be recommended for someone new to the Android operating system who wants to try it out, or for people who are not heavy app or online users.

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